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Fresh Fruit Tart

(Makes one 9-inch) tart)
Fruit Tart
This fruit tart recipe consists of a crisp, buttery tart shell filled with a creamy, smooth
lemon-flavored custard and topped with slices of fresh strawberries and kiwi, and some
blueberries.  You may substitute almost any seasonal fruit that you prefer.  Slices of peaches
or mango would be nice or a mixture of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries would also
work.  You can also change the flavor of the custard by leaving out the lemon juice and zest
and adding a tablespoon of vanilla or almond extract or a flavored liqueur. 
Ingredients:

Tart Crust:
1-1/4 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2inch cubes
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cream or half-and-half

Custard Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups half and half **
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons butter
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon

Fruit Topping:
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
6 to 8 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup apricot preserves

** Half-and-half is a dairy product that may not be available in your area.
You can combine 1 cup heavy cream with 1 cup whole milk to create a similar
product.

Directions:

To make the crust:
Put the flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor bowl. Pulse to blend the
ingredients. Add the butter cubes and pulse until incorporated into the flour.
Add the yolk and cream. Pulse a few more times until the mixture starts to
come together.

Remove the dough and shape into a disk. Place the dough into a 9 to 9-1/2-
inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly on the
bottom and up the sides of the pan. Pierce the dough all over with a fork.
Refrigerate the tart shell for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the tart crust for 20 to 22 minutes.
Press down any bubbles that form in the crust during baking. Transfer the tart
pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, remove the sides of the
tart pan.


To make the filling:
Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. In a bowl, whisk
together the half and half and egg yolks. Gradually whisk the egg mixture into
the sugar mixture.

Place the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring
constantly. Boil for 1 minute and remove from the heat. Stir in the butter until
melted and incorporated. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.

Pour the custard into a bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the
surface of the filling. Let stand at least 30 minutes. Spoon the custard into the
prepared crust. Smooth the top even with the edge of the crust. Cover and
refrigerate 30 minutes or until set.


To make the fruit topping:
Arrange the sliced fruit and berries on the surface of the cooled filling.
Place the preserves in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Melt the preserves until syrupy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Strain the preserves to remove any large chucks, reserving the syrup only.
Gently brush the apricot syrup over each piece of fruit on the tart.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

To make the Fruit Tart one day before serving:
The crust and filling for the fruit tart may be made up to 1 day before serving.
Keep the crust covered at room temperature and the filling refrigerated in a
bowl. To retain the crispness of the crust, add the filling no more than 4 to 5
hours before serving. If the filling has become very thick after being refrigerated,
simply stir it a few times to soften it. Add the fruit topping and apricot glaze
and refrigerate until serving time.
Fruit Tart
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A traditional tart pan with short fluted sides and a removable bottom makes unmolding easy.  But have you ever wound up wtih the still-hot ring looped around your arm? Try resting the pan on an over-tuned bowl; the rim will slip down away from the crust.  Then use a metal cake server to loosen the tart from the bottom and lift it onto a serving plate.
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DESSERTS  >  PIES AND TARTS  > FRESH FRUIT TART
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